III Boyz

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III Boyz
60 in
69 in
(152 cm x 175 cm)
Photo Credit
Jim Jacobs
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The title grew out of Boyz II Men, the most successful boy band of the 90's. But the image was inspired by an earlier work that I did of "The Three Graces," shown as three black women, posed in the manner of Rubens, in a tight circle sharing secrets. When it came to picturing three young men, however, I wanted to reflect the fact that the spatial intimacy that women find easy can be difficult for men. So these three young men, though clearly friends, keep their distance from each other. When I exhibited this piece, however, it became clear that some people created their own stories about the three young men. Some people thought they looked "dangerous" or were "gang members" or "looking for trouble". An interesting take when all we really know about them is 1) they are young; 2) they are black and 3) they have certain hair styles associated with black people. Jumping to conclusions about other people's proclivities is harmless enough when only bits of fabric are being judged; much less so when applied to young black men in real life.
cotton commercial fabrics
Raw edge applique, machine quilted using only the fabric without surface paint or dyes.